The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) of St. Louis has always been committed to St. Louis artists through formal and informal initiatives and arts organizations. But we were missing comprehensive data about their ecosystems.

In 2012, we undertook the Artists Count survey of artists and creatives to understand their working and living environments, the conditions under which they create their art, how they support themselves financially and the motivations that affect their work.

More than 3000 artists responded, making this one of the largest studies of artists ever completed in the United States. Participants included visual artists, writers, dancers, actors, directors, videographers, graphic designers, architects, singers, musicians, fashion designers and other self-identified creatives.

The results informed RAC’s decision to create “Investment in Artists Initiative,” an essential step toward developing direct, comprehensive and sustainable support for our region’s artists.  Fellowships, Artists Support Grants, Workshops and other Support Services are all designed to help artists advance their careers and contribute to the vibrancy of our community. Recognizing artists as the essential source of cultural vitality and the foundation for the success of the majority of our area arts organizations, RAC launched the Artists Support Grants and the Artists Fellowships in 2013.

HENRY MOORE: “There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it.”

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